Bowood stars in Poldark

Eagle-eyed viewers may have noticed a new filming location from Wiltshire on BBC TV’s ‘Poldark’.

In episode six (Sunday 15 July), Ross Poldark and other characters were seen out-and-about in Hyde Park, London, but all was not quite as it seemed as Wiltshire’s Bowood House and Gardens doubled as Hyde Park, with the Capability Brown lake cast as the Serpentine.

Captain Poldark was also seen visiting gentlemen of means to seek their support to save the ailing Pascoe’s bank. Two defining aspects of Bowood House were captured on screen to provide the settings for two of the imposing homes along his trek. Ross Poldark was seen arriving at one property with an exterior depicted by the Upper Terrace fronting Bowood House, and he visits another building of grandeur where the entrance hall is portrayed by Robert Adam’s Orangery – in reality, a step indoors from the Upper Terrace.

These scenes involved a day of set-up and a day of filming at Bowood – home to the Lansdowne family since 1754. A TV crew of around 40 people were at Bowood in October 2017.

Series 4 of the popular TV series is set in 1799, during which time the Lansdowne family would have been living at Bowood for the past 25 years. At that stage, Lancelot ‘Capability’ Brown’s Grade I listed, 2,000-acre parkland at Bowood was in its relative infancy since, commissioned by the 1st Marquess of Lansdowne, the legendary designer had begun the landscaping in 1763 (with the project over-running its original completion date of June 1766).

When Ross Poldark arrives in London to take his seat in Westminster as the MP for Truro, the 1st Marquess of Lansdowne – formerly Prime Minister from 1782-1783 – was the MP for Wycombe (although this is not part of the Poldark plotline). The Marquess’s London home was Lansdowne House (now The Lansdowne Club) – a short carriage ride or a leisurely stroll from Hyde Park.

Tune into episode seven on Sunday (22 July) to see more of Bowood House and Gardens.